Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 He Took My Beating


Sierra and I have worked in Children’s Church for many years.  Although we are not currently teaching children, I have some very fond memories of those days.  The sermon for today is one that I first gave during a Children’s Church service, but it is also for adults.  I have a very hard time getting through the message, because I usually cry along the way, so bear with me.

I want to tell you a story, and I don’t remember if it is true or not, so please just accept it for what it is intended, an illustration.  But first, let me introduce you to the main characters and give you some background.

Billy, is the biggest kid in his school, and he is older than most, because he was held back for several years.  Also, he’s a bully and there is a gang of boys that follow him around.

Johnny is just the opposite of Billy; he is small for his age, he doesn’t say much, and his family is very poor. 

Mr. Allison has been hired as the new school teacher, for the new school year, and the children don’t know anything about him.

Now for some background.  The year is 1885, and it’s the first day of school for the children of this small school in upstate, South Carolina.  The last teacher had left unexpectedly, and the students are waiting outside of the one-room school house for the new teacher to arrive.  They are just standing around in groups talking and looking down the road, in the direction that he will come.

The group of boys that surround Billy are listening intently as he says, “I ran the last one off, and this teacher won’t last long either.  He’ll be gone before the week is over.”

The attention of everyone in the school yard is then shifted to the man on horseback, who was riding in the direction of the school.

He was tall and thin, and under his arm he carried a black book.

He rode directly to the hitching post, and when he had tied up his horse, he walked inside the schoolhouse without saying a word.  In a few minutes the bell rang and the children began to file into the building, but the conversations concerning the new teacher continued.

Billy took his seat on the back row, and his gang took the chairs that were close by.

The big black book that the teacher had carried was on his desk; now they could see that it was the Bible. 

Mr. Allison introduced himself, and he said that he was glad to be their teacher.  He said, “I want you to learn a lot this year, and for all of you to have a good year.  But if we are going to have a good year, we need to have some rules.  I am not going to make up the rules, however, that will be your job.  Tell me, what should the rules be?”

Becky said that a good rule would be NO CHEATING.  Mr. Allison wrote NO CHEATING on the blackboard.  He said, “That is a good rule; doesn’t everyone agree?”

Mike was excited and he yelled, “How about “NO LYING”.  Mr. Allison said, “That is another good rule.”  And he wrote NO LYING right under NO CHEATING.

Mary raised her hand, and when Mr. Allison asked her for a rule she said, “I think a good rule is NO TALKING WHILE THE TEACHER IS TALKING.  Mr. Allison wrote NO TALKING under NO LYING.

Frank was the next one to raise his hand, and his rule was NO FIGHTING.

Mark suggested NO STEALING.

There were ten rules in all, and each was written on the blackboard.  The children were really focused on what was going on, because they had never had an opportunity to be involved in something this important.

Then Mr. Allison said, “These are all good rules.  But if we are going to have rules, we must also have penalties for breaking the rules.  What do you think should be the penalty for Cheating?”  Jane said that the punishment should be 5 lashes.

Mr. Allison wrote 5 LASHES across from NO CHEATING.

Steve said that the punishment for lying should be 6 lashes.  Mr. Allison wrote 6 lashes across from NO LYING.

The punishment for breaking each rule was determined by the children and Mr. Allison wrote it on the blackboard.

The students found that their new teacher was a kind man and a good teacher.  After a slow start, they began to relax and everyone appeared to be getting along.  This went along for several weeks, but then something happened during their lunch break.

Mark was very upset.  He told Mr. Allison that someone had stolen his lunch.  He had watched that morning as his mother placed an apple, bread and several pieces of fried chicken in his lunch bucket.

Now the bucket was empty, and he was hungry and mad.  He said, “Someone stole my lunch, and they should be punished”

Mr. Allison addressed the class that afternoon.  He said, “Someone has broken one of the rules.  Mark’s lunch was stolen, and that is very serious.  I want the one who stole it to come here and take their punishment.  Remember, you all agreed that stealing was wrong.”

There was a long silence, as the children looked from one to another.  Then from his seat in the middle of the room, Johnny stood and slowly walked to the front with tears running down his cheeks and his head down.

He stood in front of Mr. Allison and said, “I’m sorry I stole the lunch, but I was so hungry.  We didn’t have anything for breakfast this morning, and I was so hungry that I couldn’t help it.”

His friends all knew that his family was very poor.  He looked so small beside Mr. Allison.  And his appearance showed how really poor he was; his cloths were torn and dirty and he didn’t wear shoes. 

The boys and girls felt sorry for him, but waited for Mr. Allison to speak.

He said, “You know the rules.  NO STEALING was one of them, and the punishment is 10 lashes.”  Then he told Johnny to bend over the desk.  There was a switch, which was kept in the corner, just for this purpose.  Mr. Allison got the switch and was about to administer the whipping.

From the back of the room, Billy yelled, “No!  Don’t do it, he is too small.  I’ll take his place.”

“But you didn’t steal the lunch”, Mr. Allison said

“I don’t care” Billy said.  There were a few tears in his eyes, and his voice broke when he spoke.

Mr. Allison thought for a minute, and then he said, “I guess that we didn’t say who it was that would be punished, so if everyone agrees, I will allow it.”

Mr. Allison asked for everyone who would allow Billy to take Johnny’s punishment to raise their hand.  It was unanimous.  Billy would take Johnny’s place.  He would be whipped instead.

Billy placed himself across the desk and took the whipping.  I wish I could say that it didn’t hurt, but I can’t.  Billy yelled every time the switch landed, and all the boys and girls reacted to each lash, especially Johnny.

When it was over, Mr. Allison put his arm around Billy and he said, “It was a wonderful thing that you did; you are a good boy, Billy.”

Then Mr. Allison did something he had not done before.  He picked up the Bible that set on his desk, and he turned the pages until he found what he was looking for.

He said, “Boys and girls, what happened here is very much like something that happened 1900 years ago.  It was predicted by one of God’s prophets, a man called Isaiah.  And he was talking about a person you have all heard about; Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

He wrote these words several hundred years before Jesus came to earth.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:5-7, KJV)

Mr. Allison explained to the boys and Girls that Isaiah wrote this about Jesus long before he was born.  Then he went on…..

Just like Billy took Johnny’s beating, Jesus took ours.  He was beaten by the Romans.  They made a game out of it.  They put him in the center of their circle, blindfolded Him and hit Him in the face and said, “Tell us, who hit you?”  They played this game for a long time.

Then they whipped Him with a cat-of-nine tales, which was made of leather cords with pieces of sharp glass and rocks tied to the ends.  This cruel whip cut the flesh in hundreds of places and pulled out small pieces of skin.

He was stripped naked, laughed at, and spit upon.  Those pictures that we see of him with a covering across His hips are just for today’s refined way of thinking; so we won’t be shocked.

They pushed a crown of thorns into His scalp.  It was a bloody spectacle.  When they finished with Him, it was difficult to make out His features.  He didn’t look human.

Then He was nailed to a cross, where He hung until He died.  No one has ever suffered as Christ did.  Why did He do it?  He did it for you!  He was the Son of God and He did it for you!

The scriptures that we just read said that He suffered and died, because of our sins.  Sin separates us from God, and because of sin we deserve to be punished.

But I believe that one day, long before the world was created, Jesus said to God, “I will take their beating”, and God said, “I will accept that.”

Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.

But that will not do you any good, unless you believe that Jesus died for your sins.  The Bible says that to be saved, which is to be spared the punishment for sin, we must repent.

To repent is to be genuinely sorry for your sin and to tell it to God, in prayer.  If you ask Jesus to forgive your sins, and to come into your heart, He will be your Savior and Lord.

It’s a wonderful thing to know Christ as your Savior.  He will give you the Holy Spirit to live within you.  You will know the joy of His constant presence.

He did all of this because he loves you.  John3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

No one loves you like God does.  Won’t you accept His wonderful gift?  All you have to do is pray, “Father, please forgive my sins.  I believe that Jesus died for me. I trust in Him, and receive Him as my Savior.”

Before the end of the term, all the children accepted Jesus as their Savior.  I believe that when they saw Billy take Johnny’s beating, they could better understand what Jesus did for them. 

I’m glad today that Jesus took my punishment.  He also took your beating, and He died for you.  It was an act of love.  He loves you and wants you to accept the gift that he is offering this afternoon.  Paul said this about Salvation:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23, KJV).  It can’t be any simpler.  Everyone in this room is a sinner.  Everyone that ever lived sinned, except one man.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23, KJV)  We are separated from God by our sin, and we will remain separated, unless we except the free gift that He wants to give us.  But there is a condition; you must believe that Jesus died for your sins and you must tell someone about it.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10, KJV)

Salvation is offered to everyone. Because God’s word says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13, KJV)

If you want to accept Jesus as your Savior today, let me know and we will pray together.


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